Satyam opens Canadian development centre

The second Canadian arm of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., an India-based, self-proclaimed mini-version of an IBM Global Services, opened its doors on Friday as it launched its first Canadian development centre in Mississauga, Ont.

Conducting a traditional Indian ceremony complete with an Indian lamp-lighting signifying prosperity, Satyam said having the new presence on Canadian turf will help the company in creating its image as a global company.

With more than 14,000 employees and 18 development centres worldwide, Satyam is no new kid on the block. The company has a plethora of offerings for different vertical markets including infrastructure- and application-related services, data warehousing services, as well as consulting and business intelligence focuses.

But, what separates Satyam from global services firms is its tiered and tailored approach to delivery, according to chairman and CEO Ramalinga Raju, who flew in to Mississauga from India Friday to open the new centre.

Raju explained that while many North American corporations are still reluctant and resistant to the idea of outsourcing, Satyam’s delivery model gives customers options along with peace of mind. The company has presence in the area of 3,500 employees working onsite with customers where they are needed. Satyam also holds an offshoring operation in low-cost environments both in India and China.

However, for cautious North Americans — namely conservative Canadians — the company operates five “off-site” centres in the U.S. and the new off-site, near-shore centre now in Canada.

Customers therefore don’t have to worry that competencies outsourced to Satyam are more than 10,000 miles away. With the offsite and near-shore presence, North American businesses can conduct solution requirements and design elements in a more intimate setting, Raju said.

“We are no longer a company that is purely technology-driven,” Raju told IT World Canada. “We are a company that focuses on providing the best possible solutions for our customers.”

Still, despite its reign as one of the world’s top ten integrators, the company admitted it has some work to do in terms of gaining mindshare in Canada.

“What we hope to do with the new (North American) presence is to create an image of Satyam as a global company…and to present ourselves as a creative alternative and put ourselves in a better position to expand services in the Canadian market,” said Ram Mynampati, president of commercial and health care businesses for Satyam.

At this point, Canada accounts for less than two per cent of Satyam’s global revenues (the U.S. accounts for nearly 70 per cent.) But, Canadian country manager Sanjay Tugnait is bullish about how the company’s new presence will drive business.

“We want to make this the biggest development centre outside of India,” he said. “We are starting with two major Canadian customer projects and one of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. in a near-shore project.”

Among its Canadian customers are TD Waterhouse and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Both customers have been working with Satyam for more than a year and were on hand at Friday’s launch.

“We have had tremendous success dealing with Satyam,” said Peggy Mulligan, executive vice-president of systems and operations for Scotiabank. ” We have effectively enhanced our throughput and 24-hour effective turnaround time. We look forward to an ongoing partnership.”

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